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The ‘detox’ products you don’t need, says Which?

Vitabiotics and Nicky Clarke asked to prove claims

Nicky Clarke hairdryer

The excesses of Christmas may tempt you to buy products that claim to help you detox, but Which? experts have found two products that don’t live up to their claims.  

‘Detox’ hairdryer?

If you receive a Nicky Clarke Detox and Purify hairdryer this Christmas, keep an open mind about what it’ll do to your locks. 

The company claims it will ‘release toxins from your hair’, leaving it ‘shiny and revitalised’.

But when we queried this with expert toxicologist Dr John Hoskins, he said: ‘What [toxins are] doing in hair is anybody’s guess. Those released are not specified, nor how the detox occurs.’

The claims refer to nanosilver and ionic technology, which may help rejuvenate hair, but Dr Hoskins felt this was dubious. 

He said the claims were ‘without reasonable explanation or merit and therefore valueless and misleading’. We asked the company for evidence of how the hairdryer works, but it declined to comment.

Vitabiotics wellwoman inner cleanse

Vitabiotics cleansing support?

Vitabiotics’ ‘Wellwoman Inner Cleanse’ (£9.15) claims to provide nutrients to safeguard health during detoxification diets, maintain a strong immune system and support the body’s ‘natural cleansing’.

Which? asked Vitabiotics for evidence and it referred us to a ‘substantial body of worldwide literatures’ to support the claims.

But expert dietician Catherine Collins carefully reviewed the evidence and told us: ‘You do not need to “detox” as your body is cleansing toxins all the time. And this product is not a nutritionally complete multivitamin and mineral supplement.’

If you do need support when you’re dieting, Catherine recommends eating your five-a-day fruit and vegetables, as well as taking a one-a day broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement.

Nominate dodgy claims

Which? will be looking at other health products in 2012 and asking whether manufacturers can support their claims. If you find any products you’re unsure about, send details to healtheditor@which.co.uk.

Ask for evidence

We’re also supporting myth-busting charity Sense about Science in its ‘Ask for Evidence’ campaign, which provides advice on how you can ask for evidence to support health claims – whether they are made on products, in adverts or even in policy:

> Ask penetrating questions about the evidence behind claims, whatever your experience.
> You might find the person making the claim has good evidence to back it up. The more people ask, the more a company will expect to be asked so they’ll make evidence available and think more deeply about how they present claims in the future.
> Contact the regulator if you don’t get satisfactory answers

More on this:

  • Get more detailed information from Sense about Science
  • Read our advice on complaining to companies
  • Check out the Which? Conversation hosted by Sense about Science about asking for evidence.
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